Monday, June 21, 2010

Cast Iron Rehab: Chapter 1

Not too long ago I was reading on the Egghead Forum about cast iron cookware.  There was some discussion about what new brands were preferred, but the two discontinued brands that everyone liked best were Wagner and Griswold.  This got me thinking about the pan in the back of the cabinet that my mom had given me at one point.  I grabbed it out.  Lo and behold it was a Griswold!  Cool.  Griswold was a cast iron maker in Erie, PA which has been out of business since the 1950s.  So this piece is at least 50 to 60 years old.
I know a certain amount of "seasoning" makes your cast iron cool, but this piece seemed to be pretty corroded.  Last summer my wife and I were in Charleston,SC and we visited the CSA Hunley--the world's first submarine used during the Civil War.  This pan looked like it had been pulled from the wreckage. 

Check it out.  The 8 tells you that it's an 8" pan.

So now what?  I found help from the Pan Man who has a guide on his site for cleaning and seasoning old cast iron. Step one is to spray the piece down with oven cleaner all over and stick it in a plastic trash bag for a couple of days.  Keeping it in the bag keeps the cleaner from evaporating.  Stay tuned as I post the progress of this project.


  1. Great recovery. If that doesn't work, I've heard of people having them "shot blasted" to clean them up. I have come to LOVE cast iron over the past year, it is a cooking phenom.

    Can't wait to see this baby cooking up some good food soon.

  2. Chris, this little pan turns out to be a great find. I've had fun cleaning it up. It doesn't fit on my Egg with the lid shut, but I can still see getting good use out of it. Thanks for checking in.